Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Bag of plant fibre, constructed using a coiled technique. Handle is made of a knotted string technique attached at each side of the top of the bag.

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 19thC (before 1851?)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 49 centimetres
    • Width: 43 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Label attached to bag, probably in Davis' hand, reads: "Basket. Made by the Aborigines of South Australia. Encounter Bay Tribe. Brought by Jane Moorhouse".

    Jane Moorhouse was the sister of Mathew Moorhouse (1813-1876) doctor, and the first permanent Protector of Aborigines in South Australia, who published a vocabulary of the Murrary River Aborigines in 1846. He had many dealings with Aboriginal people of the Lower Murray and Lakes, including those of the 'Encounter Bay Tribe'.

    Another label attached to the bag reads: "+467.0 Dr JB Davis. Tasmania." The attribution of Tasmania is incorrect. The reverse of this label reads "AWF 4 Nov 1889". This label indicates that Franks presented the bag to the British Museum on this date.Ian Coates, National Museum of Australia, advised 25 March 2016:
    J. Barnard Davis wrote to G.A. Robinson 29/9/1862 saying 'I had occasion to write to Mr Moorhouse, of Adelaide, and mentioned our visit to Bath to him, and told him of your kind reception of his sister'. This suggests a link between Jane Moorhouse and Robinson in 1862. If this is the case, the basket may well have been originally been in Robinson's collection before it came to Barnard Davis.Original registration slip:
    Australia, South
    Bag made of plaited fibre, with handle of netted cord. Basket made by the Aborigines of South Australia. Encounter Bay tribe. Brought by Jane Moorhouse.


  • Bibliography

    • Bolton 2011 p.56 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G24/dc2

  • Exhibition history

    2011 26 May-11 Sep, London, BM, G91, Baskets and Belonging: Indigenous Australian Histories

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This is one of a series of objects (Oc,+4651 to Oc,+.4675) which AW Franks presented to the Museum on 4 November 1889. They included material from Australia and the Pacific, and all had come from J Barnard Davis's collection. It is most likely that they are some of the objects Franks acquired at the sale of Davis' estate in early 1883.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Oc1889C2.4670 (old CDMS no.)
Bag made of vegetable fibre, cord.

Bag made of vegetable fibre, cord.

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC6973

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